Monday, May 5, 2008

Travels of a T-Shirt and more

I led an informal discussion of slow fashion at my church this past Sunday, and got lots of good questions. One particular area of interest was the environmental cost of a garment, and how to know which products to choose. For those interested in the long version, I'd recommend the very excellent book "Travels of a T-Shirt", which is just that -- tracing the path of a single, inexpensive souvenir T-shirt purchased in Florida back and both across the oceans. Another favorite is Patagonia's wonderful multimedia site, "The Footprint Chronicles", which lets you choose any of ten difference products and examine its impact. I've been eyeing the Sugar & Spice Shoe (despite the horrible moniker) and it was interesting to read the good AND the bad about them (it's an honest site). Among other things, I learned that the production of each pair of shoes releases 41 times its weight of CO2 into the atmosphere and consumes enough energy to power a compact fluorescent light bulb for 69 days, which leaves me with two thoughts:

1) All consumption has an environmental impact, even "green" consumption. Consuming less, and wasting as little as possible, is better than maintaining your current consumption and waste habits but switching to green products.

2) Can I see a comparison chart for Crocs? (The link goes to a wonderful discussion on Treehugger about the footwear you love to hate.)

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